The bulk of the Phillies’ top position talent resides in Double-A Reading. Reading Eagle beat writer Mike Drago provides an early update.
The Reading Phillies aren't even a .500 team this season, but the good news is that all of their young position prospects are excelling, most of them in their first Double-A seasons. That's encouraging, and rare. Given their ages, each of the four (Greg Golson, Jason Donald, Lou Marson and Brad Harman) should have productive major league careers.
Greg Golson is still striking out a ton, nearly 30 percent of his at-bats, and still getting fooled on breaking balls. But he's made a huge jump in his return to the Eastern League. He's shown power potential, is stealing bases at a high rate and is playing a marvelous center field (with a great arm). And he's batting .309, far better than he ever has. I don't see why he can't have a big league career every bit as good as Mike Cameron, maybe better.
Jason Donald is a kid that really grows on you. He's a baseball player. I think he's got just enough range and arm to play shortstop in the big leagues, and probably could be shifted to third. And he's gonna have the bat, and the power, to play a corner spot. I'm not certain that he's going to be a everyday guy in the big leagues for a long time, but I can see him having enough bat and versatility to stick around for a while.
Lou Marson has been the biggest surprise of all. His bat was a liability his first three seasons, but right now he's hitting .320 with an astounding .441 on-base percentage. How many catchers can do that? The list starts and ends with Joe Mauer. He hasn't shown any power yet, but that will come. He's only 21. I can see him having a Mike Lieberthal-type career. You'd take that, wouldn't you?
Brad Harman is the toughest call of the four. I haven't seen much of him, since he spent a couple weeks in Philly. I'm not sure that he's got a position. He's got some pop, so he could end up at third base. Will probably end up as a utility/bench guy in the big leagues.
-- Mike Drago / Reading Eagle